Noose found inside Smithsonian’s African-American museum

FILE - In this photo Sept. 14, 2016, final preparations are being made for the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. The museum opens in Washington this Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, aiming to tell the story of black people in the U.S. through compelling artifacts, yet visitors will find few personal mementos from one of the most famous and influential black Americans, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – A noose has been found in a public exhibition space of the Smithsonian’s African-American museum.

Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton says in a statement that the rope was found Wednesday afternoon in the Segregation Gallery of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The statement says tourists found the noose on the floor.

Museum founding Director Lonnie Bunch III says in an email that the noose represents an act of cowardice and depravity.

The Washington Post reports that the U.S. Park Police are investigating, but a spokeswoman would not provide more details.

This was the second such incident in less than a week at a Smithsonian Institution museum. A noose was found hanging from a tree outside the Hirshhorn Museum on Friday.

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